MONROVIA – President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert T. Chie has challenged the National Investment Commission (NIC) and its partners to continuously play a major role in the economic transformation of the Country by aggressively promoting investment opportunities, and supporting the growth of foreign direct investment.
Speaking Wednesday, June 30 at the second Liberia Business and investment Forum (LIBIF), a virtual event in Washington D.C, Pro-Temp Chie said the NIC should advocate for, and strengthen the domestic private sector; and to ensure that the economic and social development objectives of the people of Liberia are achieved by and through favourable investment environment that guarantees security.
The Senate Pro-Tempore recalled that he had the privilege of attending a similar investment forum, in Washington D.C., a little over a decade ago, then as Assistant Minister of Energy at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, adding that the energy sector was one of the key investment areas which was highlighted at the forum.
Since then, he averred that the sector has attracted attention due to policy and regulatory reforms that were suggested at that forum and subsequently implemented by the Government of Liberia.
Pro-Temp Chie: “At this forum our Country anticipates numerous dividends as we look forward to working along with investment partners from the United States and other Countries and commit the Liberian Senate in the creation of an enabling environment through the enactment of appropriate legislations and diligent discharge of oversight for the growth of the private sector”.
Senator Chie, at the same time joined other participants of the forum to underscore the importance of investment in agriculture, health and tourism sectors.
He further added that these are crucial areas that every Country needs to invest in, and if Liberia should achieve economic prosperity, agriculture, being the leading sector of the economy, should be prioritized.
He, at the same time mentioned that until 1979, the country’s economy was among the most developed and fastest-growing in Sub-Saharan Africa.
He recounted several agriculture companies that boosted Liberia’s economy, among them include the Liberia Sugar Corporation, LIBSUCO in Maryland County, the plywood business in Sinoe County, and the fishing business of the Mesurado Group of companies.
However, following the 1980 coup d’état, he noted that the economy experienced a drastic decline which even become worse by the civil war that caused a brain drain and the loss of capital.
He added that investment in the soil has the capacity to yield huge returns and healthy benefits that will culminate in National Food Security, noting that there are opportunities for rice concessions, food preservation and packaging, and other agro-business opportunities.
He added that there are opportunities also in the health sector, and called for the progressively strengthening of the sector that faces challenges of diverse proportions, adding, “If we must create a vibrant economy, there must be healthy people”.
Speaking further, he revealed that in the coming years, the Liberian Senate will look keenly at the budgetary allocation to the tourism sector in order to put it on its feet to be able to reach out to the private sector interest.
He noted that the Health and agriculture sectors continue to have priority in the national budget but there is opportunity for increase in order to respond to the needs of the people.
On behalf of the Liberian Senate, the Pro-Tempore thanked the organizers and sponsors of the Business and the opportunity to share his thoughts and ideas.
The forum, held in Washington D.C. was organized by the Liberian Embassy in the United States and was intended to develop strategies for economic growth, nurture sustainability through investment in Agriculture.
The event, which is held annually, was inaugurated in 2019 but could not be held in 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.